How did Jesus deal with Difficult People?
“It is one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
No matter what, we will encounter a difficult person. We may be married to them, friends with them or linked to them by family ties; then they might be co-workers, associates, or strangers, and whoever they are, sooner or later we will encounter a difficult person.
Lately, the difficult person role has been switching from person to person in my little circle, and sometimes, I am the difficult one. Mostly, it seems to spur from miscommunication, other times from pride and not giving the effort to listen to the other person’s point of view, and yet we could just not want to understand the other person, because of the belief system that we have to be right all the time. When people are brought together with very different backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives, or simply when two or three people all think differently, things can get very frustrating very fast. However, The Holy Bible gives us a blueprint for dealing with difficult people, and that is to follow the ways in which Jesus dealt with difficult people.
Jesus used a variety of methods for dealing with difficult people. He used self-control, never displaying pride and putting others down or beneath him, but instead blessing them in one way or the other. John 8:47 sums up what Jesus says in John 8:42 – 47, he says, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” It is when we belong to God when we hear truth. What are a few of God’s truths?
First, God is Love (1 John 4:8) and God loves You (John 3:16, Romans 8:37 – 39, Ephesians 2:4 – 5, Romans 5:8, Zephaniah 3:17, 1 Peter 5:6 – 7, Psalm 86:15).
Second, you will be saved: “When you declare with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” (Romans 10:9).
Third, God does not judge unfairly: “For there is not difference between a Jew and a Gentile,” (Romans 10:12)
Taming the tongue is another way of dealing with difficult people. When Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, “. . . the teachers of the law and Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. . .” trying luring Jesus into a trap to accuse him, Jesus refuse to be a fish caught on a hook and sat down and wrote in the sand. He did this, and then again until only the accused woman was left, “. . . Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1 – 11).
When you feel like others are attacking your authority, your faith, your beliefs, just do what Jesus did and ask them an appropriate question: the teachers of the law and the elders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?” Jesus answered back with his own question, “Jesus replied, ‘I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” (Mark 11: 27 – 33).
Looking to scripture, and reading Jesus’s parables are also very good ways to follow the ways that Jesus dealt with difficult people.
Since God is love and we were made in the image of God, we are commanded to love one another, even our enemies. We are told to pray for and to bless each other, even our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are they doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43 – 48).
Nothing will get better until we give it to God and allow Him to transform our hearts, cleanse our soul, and to be silent and still enough to hear His soft whisper. Maybe after all of the that, we can be more perfect like God, never God, but in His image, as we were made.
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“What does the Bible say about dealing with difficult people.” Got Questions.org. http://www.gotquestions.org. 7 May 2016. Web.
“7 Inspiring Bible Verses about God’s Love for Us.” The Christian Post. Buzz Vine. http://www.christianpost.com. 7 May 2016. Web.